Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri May 3 2013 11:57:26

New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

By: Ina Steiner

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One day after implementing new Store fees, eBay sellers began noticing changes to the site - and two new features were spotted on eBay yesterday that have sellers buzzing.

Diverting Buyers from a Seller's Listing
The first is a "big blue arrow" appearing on eBay item pages that says "More Like This" and directs shoppers to active listings from competing sellers. Sellers discussing the feature on the discussion boards began calling it the MTL tab (More Like This).

"Are you KIDDING ME!!" wrote one seller, "It's hard enough to get people to look even click to look at our listings and now eBay is waving buyers away from them with this arrow thing!!"

Another seller wrote, "The annoying blue arrow thing ends up showing other similar ACTIVE listings when someone clicks on it. It follows you like a Peeping Tom all the way down the page as you scroll! This isn't on the completed pages, I'm talking about CURRENT listings! I PAID for my listings!! I didn't get any of them for Free!!"

Another seller appeared resigned to the new feature. "Trust me, I do not agree what eBay is doing when they flash competitors. However, this is the way things are going. If someone wants to buy a purple widget, I've been on Amazon, where they show me multiple sellers with the same widget. And I get to pick the cheapest widget. (Put it in your cart.) The best you can do is improve your listings - if you decide to stay on eBay. Offer as many good photos, super customer service, and good feedback."

Some sellers are not seeing the new MTL tab, but the over-riding reaction from sellers upon reading about it was displeasure that eBay was driving shoppers on their listing pages to listings from competing sellers. "It's like the mall management walking into Walmart and going up to a customer at the register who is ready to buy and telling them to go over to Sears first because they have a better deal," wrote a seller.

New Merchandising Features
Sellers also spotted another feature when browsing listings. This one provides shoppers with an indication of how popular a listing is by popping up a message "5 people are viewing this item per hour." The number changes according to the actual number of viewers.



Other people see a similar box but the message reads, "Someone has watched this item in the past 24 hours."

This could be seen as making a listing more desirable, by showing that other shoppers are interested in the item, but people discussing the features in the same thread as the one about the new MTL tab found it annoying or distracting.

Note that other things seem to be changing on eBay. First, some sellers are reporting they are being charged old fees, not the new fees that went into effect on May 1st. Some sellers are reporting technical issues (several reports are also coming in to EcommerceBytes EKG).

Another example of a possible new feature spotted on eBay: a seller wrote on the discussion boards, "I just listed an item and it is a FP [Fixed Price] item. While in the eBay listing template, I get this message from eBay, "Based on the item type you are listing, it is recommended that you list this item as an Auction listing. It is X-times (can't remember it all) more likely your item will sell if you do this.""

Let us know what you think of these new features and anything unusual you're seeing on eBay!




Comments (32) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Fri May 3 12:24:03 2013

Yes, it is true! I was surprised when I first noticed this on ''Bonanza'' which redirected me outside of their site and have been happy to make more purchases for LESS than what their site offered.

As an ebay buyer, it keeps my wallet full.

Not good for sellers but again, that's how BOTH sites choose to bounce their sales away from their own.

Good work Miss Ina!  

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri May 3 14:02:32 2013

I have not noticed the first ''diversion'' - but I have noticed the second with verbiage such as: ''One person is viewing this'' (me?) or ''Two people are viewing this per hour''.

When shopping, I find things that pop up at me or jump around a bit annoying. Especially if they cover the item I am looking at. On news sites, I leave completely & go to a competitor if something starts moving & annoys me.

The danger of all these pop-up and moving ad bits is that it can feel to buyers like they are in the middle of a video game instead of a shopping experience. THAT might work for some age groups, but certainly not for everyone.

That is an idea though - wouldn't it be nice if we had controllers that could ''blast'' ads that pop up on a site that annoy us!

Someone on the other end could be monitoring THAT! ''Wow, Bob, we sure got some hostile shoppers out there today!''

Then, of course - Prozac ads would be forthcoming.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 20:21:13 2013

All this does is make me very happy I only put an item or two on Ebay occasionally just to see if anybody is alive there.  I presently have one small item that will end in a couple of hours...it has 7 big views LOL and, of course, no bids.  I will put it elsewhere and it will sell. That's just what has been happening over and over again for a year now.  So, I am not surprised at Ebay's gimmicks....anything to make a buck because they sure aren't making any real revenue with auctions anymore.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 22:10:16 2013

The feature that is really obscene is ''People who viewed this item also viewed''.
I sold an item and was signed into my buying account, so when I opened the listing to check the sale I saw it as others do. At the bottom there was a banner ad of listings with the title ''People who viewed this item also viewed''. The banner had an identical item to mine from one of my competitors, which was priced lower than mine. I paid the listing fee for this item and eBay is using the space to show that my competitor has the exact item for less (the competitor appears to be using the item as a loss leader, since I know the sole supplier and the terms of pricing for this competitor). For whatever reason, the buyer chose my item. They probably didn't scroll down far enough.
Funny how eBay hides this feature if you are looking at your listings while signed in to the account they are selling from.
This is like someone forcing my local gas station to tell me that gas is 3 cents cheaper down the street a block or two.
Everyone should write eBay from the ''Feedback on our suggestions'' and express how absurd this is.

Maybe a mass mailing of qualified people letting the Wall Street Analysts know that they are willing to fill positions at eBay for less than the current going rate for those positions would illustrate the point, LOL.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri May 3 22:30:37 2013

'People who viewed this item also viewed'

People who viewed ebay also viewed but made their purchase on Amazon .. or other more favorable site

"5 people are viewing this item per hour."

 "5 people are viewing this item per hour but actually buying it on Amazon or another more favorable site"  

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Sat May 4 00:30:44 2013

WTF!? First was the Pinterest copy and now the Facebook status. What is next? A page loaded, impossible to download and see like Myspace.  

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat May 4 02:00:12 2013

ILLEGAL.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Sat May 4 08:00:03 2013

Tell us dearest daddy Ming:

Are you saying that Bonanza is also ''ILLEGAL'' in the same ways ebay does this?

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Sat May 4 08:50:17 2013

"ILLEGAL"

I'm not sure if concept or display ideas are copyright. Now if they are using similar programing or source code can be other issue.

Let be serious. As buyer I don't get nothing knowing how many people saw the item with a pop-up. It just another feature that can slow down performance in the site.  

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat May 4 09:20:16 2013

@elpereles - ''Let be serious. As buyer I don't get nothing knowing how many people saw the item with a pop-up. It just another feature that can slow down performance in the site.''


Correct. These features do nothing for me as a buyer other than get in my way of going through a list of search results.

I don't care how many people have looked at it. Either I will pass on an item, send it to my watch list, or buy based on how badly I want or need it. The most useful feature that may spur a sale is ''one left'' appearing on something in my watch list.

And I liked ''the feed'' which has disappeared again. I actually bought a few things that I saw on ''the feed'' first. But I had my saved searches ''feeding'' into it.


And Why would I follow a link to LEAVE a list of search results that I just spent time setting up and want to go through?

These days it is hard enough fighting the pre-fill apparatus to have your search be for what YOU want and the darn thing STILL slips in a word that completely changes the results. So if I actually get it worded properly, why on earth would I want to leave the results.

BTW - not just eBay's search is doing this - I'm running into it all the time now.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Sat May 4 13:37:43 2013

It will be more useful an update status for sellers tools even telling where is coming the traffic. But knowing eBay any feature or tool for sellers isn't in their priorities.  

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat May 4 20:15:20 2013

If I'm buying, all these pop-ups will do is cause me a great deal of angst.  I don't want all this action while I'm shopping.  Information overload.  Of course I refuse to buy ANYTHING on eBay.  I can't do anything about the idiocy of eBay management, but I CAN shop elsewhere.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat May 4 20:22:00 2013

Attn Genius Wall Street Banksters:

Every month brings another sign of ebafia's rapidly declining third party selling site.

3P non Diamond sellers have been demoted to nothing more than a platform for ebafia's click through ads.

Remember when the Evil Empire surveyed sellers about paying more for more exposure?

The forced store upgrades for many and piranha fee hikes is ebafia's answer to the above question.

Whether store upgrades result in increased exposure and translates into increased sales for those who involuntarily upgraded their stores remains to be seen.

Being the cynical individual I am, I understand that when ebafia usually makes a change that benefits sellers, it's usually purely accidental or coincidental and certainly seldom intentional.

The Ho is rapidly relegating ebafia into an even more unstable, slow, cumbersome junk ad site.

If and when the interlocking directorate that nominally serves as a BoD, Pierre, and the analysts take notice, however, The Ho will be another 200 million richer.

Rich Matsuura: liar, liar pants on fire.

Click away competitor ads -- The Ho's definition of seller protection.

And now we have a "Seller Protection Hub!"

What sellers need protection from in addition to ebafia created criminal buyers is protection from ebafia's criminal management.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Sat May 4 21:17:17 2013

Dearie Dada Mingest, you made my vintage playtex pull thy seams.

Let's do BUFFET next week!

May the FOURTH be with you.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: TheUglySweaterShop
Web Site

Sat May 4 23:52:51 2013

Glad I sell on my own website. I just direct buyers to more of my stuff. Works well!

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun May 5 00:27:39 2013

Sometimes I wish I could leave eBay twice. --- If I wasn't already gone, it's 5h1t like this that would make me leave in a heartbeat.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

by: Henry This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 00:52:38 2013

I saw this today. I don't know if it is illegal as some readers implied. But it is certainly unethical. It is a distraction that will ultimately lead buyers to Amazon. It is another very bad decision by eBay management.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sun May 5 05:41:00 2013

That is really severe, leaning on your customers and then sending them to your competition.

It's even meaner when YOU pay for the listing and then they drive them away.

So you take great pictures, fill in all the needed details... maybe even toss out a few Twitter and Facebook feeds to alienate your acquaintances there.

The point is you do all that work, defy the odds Cassini stacks against you... you get them to YOUR LISTING. Out of all the other millions of pages and billions of things that could be occupying the buyer's mind and fighting for their attention... YOU HAVE THEM HERE!

Not only that, BUT THEY HAVE THEIR MONEY OUT. Somehow you have done it my friend. You not only have beaten the odds but you have actually motivated someone to ''take the money out.''

But then, your landlord, master and business partner eBay turns on that rich, deep, Barry White voice and says, ''Hey this is eBay and you know you can trust us, and hey, look, here is the same widget you are looking at now for 29 cents cheaper. Why don't you go check it out? You can always come back to this guy's listing if you really don't believe you deserve to save 29 cents.''

The deep Barry White voice continues: ''you go check out that cheaper one little Buyer, because eBay loves you. EBay's got your back. You know, if you don't like your item, because you discover it is  ''significantly not as described,'' well, our good friend PayPal will get your money back.''

See, people want someone they can trust.

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun May 5 16:06:20 2013

At this point, it's obvious ETSY is having a direct effect on Ebay.
NO CONTEST. Now, set up shop on ETSY and enjoy the sales. Twenty CENTS to list (for THREE MONTHS !), 6 times the viewership of Ebay, and here's the kicker - ETSY has it's own in house charge card system that beats the pants off PayPal.
And ETSY's commish is only 3 percent.
See You There !

Perminate Link for New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page   New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page

by: Danielle This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun May 5 16:09:43 2013

Bonanza does the same thing adding competing ads on my hard worked listings while claiming they are ''in no way affiliated with eBay''. I am sure they are not, but I recall when Bonanza was created as a ''buffer site'' with such promising format. Well...two years and no sales later, I ended this disfunctional experience as well, packing my 3-400 items and heading to greener pastures.

At the closing of my beautiful and useless Bonanza booth, I was asked to fill out a ''good bye'' questionnaire, in which one of the 5 brilliant questions was:
''How many hours a day did you spend promoting your Bonanza store?'' The choice answers were starting at 5 hours a day and up. In other words, no sales=your fault, not Bonanza's, we at Bonanza just advertise on your listings page where you spent at least 1 hour to take pictures, create, adjust and slalom through nonsensical categories and traits to make it viable.

Plus, who in the world has MINIMUM 5 hours a day to promote their Bonanza store which in fact advertises other people's listings?

What has gotten into Bonanza people? They seemed nice and ...normal.

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